On Friday 17 April, Caymanian Lesley Connolly appeared before Justice Charles Quinn for admission as an Attorney at Law in the Cayman Islands.
Mrs. Connolly’s application was sponsored by Walkers and presented by Sandie Corbett, a partner within the firm’s Litigation Department.
With family members, friends and colleagues in attendance, Ms Corbett spoke of Mrs. Connolly’s ‘true local girl’ qualities. Growing up in George Town her education began at Cayman Prep, followed by enrollment at John Gray High. After receiving her high school diploma she went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, and later attained a masters degree in Hotel and Food Administration from Florida International University.
Determined to give back to the country of her birth she returned to Cayman and started working at The Hyatt in the Human Resource department, until her life, as Ms Corbett put it, ‘took a different course,’ and she enrolled at the Cayman Islands Law School.
Mrs. Connolly has worked at Walkers on a full time basis between 2003 and 2006, while simultaneously pursuing her LLB at the Cayman Islands Law School. She was first employed as Assistant Operations Manager from 2003 to 2005 and then worked as a Training Officer from March 2005 until July 2006, when she left to undertake her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in London.
Walkers sponsored Lesley throughout both her undergraduate studies and her LPC. ‘Lesley’s academic achievements are particularly impressive,’ said Ms Corbett, further explaining that she was top in her class during her first year at the Cayman Islands Law School and was awarded the Sweet Maxwell Law Prize.
Mrs. Connolly completed the LPC in 2007, passing the course with Commendation, and married Winston Connolly in April 2008.
Articled to partner Caroline Williams, she commenced her articles with Walkers in September 2007 and completed them in March 2009.
The Walkers Articled Clerk Programme is an intense 18-month practical training period, rotating through all of the firm’s practice areas. Articled Clerks receive a combination of formal legal training and invaluable hands-on experience, giving them the chance to determine which area of the law to specialise in.
Mrs. Connolly has decided to specialise in Trust Disputes and has accepted a position in Walkers’ litigation department.
Noting the sizable gathering in the court room Justice Quinn made mention of her strong support system. ‘I am sure it has helped you to get where you are today,’ he said, then quickly moved for her admission.
Addressing the court Mrs. Connolly expressed her gratitude for being able to join the profession and confirmed that she would conduct herself in a manner that will never bring the profession, court, or jurisdiction into disrepute.
‘The last five and a half years were certainly challenging-and occasionally humbling-but with an extraordinary support network, the experience was manageable, and often enjoyable,’ she said.
Thanking family, friends and coworkers, Mrs. Connolly recognized that her admission was only the dawn of her expedition into law. ‘While I stand here with a certain sense of accomplishment. I realize that my professional journey is just beginning and I look forward to a challenging and stimulating career as an attorney,’ she said.
“We are pleased to see Lesley complete our Articled Clerk Training Programme and to now join the ranks of the qualified attorneys at Walkers as a trusts litigator,” said Caroline Williams, who is a partner and a member of Walkers’ Training Committee, which is comprised of partners, senior attorneys and former scholarship recipients.
“We place considerable importance on the training of our Articled Clerks and we believe Lesley will be a great asset to the firm,” added Richard Addlestone, partner and chairman of the Training Committee.